Dec 7, 2021
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Shaftesbury lease sign-ups show ability of West End to bounce back

Dec 7, 2021

Shaftesbury has delivered an impressive record in terms of attracting a host of new retailers and increasing footfall to its London properties. 

Shaftesbury's Carnaby Village

The landlord said it has signed over 60 new retail, hospitality and leisure brands to its ‘villages’, which includes Carnaby, Seven Dials, Chinatown, Soho and Fitzrovia, since 1 October 2020. 

And that newness has helped attract consumers to those key destinations with footfall “continuing to rise [as] retail and [food & beverage] spending bounces back”. 

Shaftesbury said weekend footfall is currently at or above 2019 levels, while weekdays are at approximately 80%. Meanwhile, data from CACI and Location Sciences indicates Shaftesbury's locations are “outperforming the wider West End” of London, where the volumes of people are currently at 72% of pre-Covid levels.

“The strength of demand from operators also coincides with the rapid recovery in footfall and sales across its locations and represents a vote of confidence in their long-term appeal and prospects,” the commercial property giant said Tuesday.

In all, 33 new retailers have joined Shaftesbury's villages, of which 23 were brands making their debuts in the UK, including six from the US: Lids, NBA, American Eagle and Aerie and Gilly Hicks.  

They join new concepts including L'Estrange, Experimental Perfume Club, White Pine, Cole Buxton, Aubin, and Danish fashion retailer, Han Kjobenhavn.  

Of the debuts, nine were online brands opening their first bricks-and-mortar stores, including French eyewear brand Bloobloom.

Samantha Bain-Mollison, Shaftesbury retail director, said: "The level and quality of demand for space from such great brands and concepts reflects the strength of our portfolio and speed of its recovery following the lifting of pandemic restrictions.”

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